Media Mindset: Social Media

The average American consumes media for 10-12 hours a day.

-Nielsen’s Q3 2018 Total Audience Report

What is media?

Students: Write down anything you learn that you didn’t know before–it will be useful at the end of the lesson!

Can you identify the types of media in this photo?

Media is any vehicle for a message. We use a medium to communicate–media is the pluralized form of the word.

Media Literacy, according to the National Association of Media Literacy Educators, is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act using all forms of communication.


Every single piece of media you ever see has been created by someone with a particular purpose in mind, or a media mindset. Because of this, you can learn how to ‘read’ media, better understand what makes it work, and create your own.

What is social media?

Why is it important to study social media?

• 1.7 billion people have active social media accounts
• 2/3 of adults get their news from social media
• In China, social media addiction was recently formally classified as a clinical disorder, with clinics offering rehabilitation services
• Social media is a powerful tool, that makes everyone their own broadcaster, publisher, editor, radio host, and more

Social Media makes us powerful. And as Spiderman used to say:

Post Screening Questions:
Why was this made?
What is its target audience?
What is it about? How do you know?
What type of people are represented?
What techniques are they using to keep me interested?

MA:Re7.1.II (perceive)
MA:Re8.1.II (interpret)
MA:Cn11.1.II (relate)

Post Screening Questions:
Why was this made?
What is its target audience?
What is it about? How do you know?
What type of people are represented?
What do I learn about myself based off of my reaction?
Have you noticed this behavior in your life?
Why do people post misleading content?
What is the effect of that?
What similarities are there between these two videos? What are the differences?

MA:Re7.1.II (perceive)
MA:Re8.1.II (interpret)
MA:Cn11.1.II (relate)

Post Screening Questions:
What is this video?
What is its Media Mindset?
What color is used for notifications?
What do you notice about the mechanics of the interface?

MA:Cn11.1.II (relate)

If a service is free, YOU ARE THE PRODUCT.

Facebook makes money by selling your information to advertisers, who then present you with targeted commercials.

What you see on your feed is determined by an algorithm.

Social Media can shape how we think, what we share, and to whom. For example, posting a picture of your mother on mother’s day. Why do we do this?


Let’s look at our feeds. If you have a phone and social media, pull up a feed and make note of what category each post falls under.
*Meme *Political Commentary *Inspirational
*Personal Business *Corporate Advertising *Photography/Art
*Celebration Post *Event Notice *PSA

MA:Re7.1.II (perceive)
MA:Re8.1.II (interpret)
MA:Cn11.1.II (relate)


Your cognitive load is reduced by a schema, (like tying your shoes). When schemas are being formed by others who don’t always have your best interests in mind, the best defense is:


Approach EVERYTHING by questioning its truth. Brains love easy explanations. Don’t trust your gut, trust your perception of bias and textual analysis skills!

Sweller, J (June 1988). “Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on learning” (PDF). Cognitive Science12 (2): 257–285. 

Social Media and Ethics





Great power comes great responsibility

Video shorts showing social effect

Extreme Recommendation Engines



Positive Uses, Connecting with Art and Ideas



Teacher’s Notes

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